The Deacons at very active at First Pres. They provide services to the local community, help congregants in times of need, provide hospitality and support various functions, including worship, at the church. They have several fundraisers during the year to support their work.


Community Service

Food Pantry/Grocery Delivery

10 Interesting Facts

1.  FIA and church members help the Deacons identify persons/families that are not food secure

2.  We service persons with a valid Niles driver's license or ID (photocopies taken)

3.  We have two programs: 3rd Sunday Deliveries (monthly) & Mon./Wed. Pick-Up (quarterly)

4.  When participants are assigned to a program, they tell us their household size and identify special dietary needs

5.  3rd Sunday - 30 bags of groceries are delivered

6.  Mon./Wed. Pick-Up – Persons call the office every 3 months to schedule an afternoon pick-up 

7.  Up to 4 curbside pick-ups are scheduled every Monday and Wednesday, serving 20+ per month

8.  Help is needed, and you do not need to be a Deacon. 

2nd Monday – Packing 30 Bags at the Community Ministry Team's monthly meeting

3rd Sunday - 20 Sunday morning volunteers are needed to deliver bags of groceries

Monday/Wednesday Curbside Pick-Ups - 8 afternoon volunteers are needed each month

9. Food/items are donated by the congregation, local businesses and the Post Office Food Drive

10.  When donating food, please consider healthy foods that are lower in sugar, fat, and salt, and those that contain whole grains or protein.  Our Pantry ALWAYS needs:

Oatmeal and cold cereals

Shelf stable Milk

Soup/chili/beef stew and crackers

“Hamburger Helper” - Also tuna or chicken

Canned tuna/chicken/salmon

Pasta and Sauce

Canned fruit, including applesauce and 100% juice

Brown paper and plastic bags


Backpacks and school supplies

Deacons buy and stock backpacks stuffed with various school supplies and distributed to local elementary and middle schools. They are then disseminated to those youth who otherwise would not be able to provide their own school supplies

Hat and mitten tree

Every Christmas a tree in the parlor is decorated with paper mittens. Congregants can take paper mitten and replace it on the tree with either a pair of gloves or mittens, or a winter hat. These are donated to the Berrien County Juvenile Center.

Snack Packs

Snack packs consisting of popcorn, granola bars, candy, fruit, and a drink are sent to the Berrien County Juvenile Center. Our youth help decorate the bags.

Thanksgiving baskets

Thanksgiving — that one word conjures up your favorite holiday smells and tastes, traditions with family and friends, parades and football on TV.  We take a long weekend off from work and school to give thanks for all we have, and the ones we love.   It's also a season when we remember that not everyone has enough to eat, and give generously to our Deacon's Food Pantry.  Millions of Americans are not food secure, so our church prepares holiday bags for 30+ families in our community.  Please help out by donating any of these delicious items:

Turkeys and Refrigerated Foods – Monetary Donations (specify Deacon's Food Pantry) 

Dressing, such as Stove Top Stuffing

Instant potatoes and mixes


Cream of Soups, such as mushroom

Green Beans



Cranberry Sauce

Baking Mixes – Cake, brownie, cookie, etc.

Shelf Stable Milk (including dry, evaporated, condensed)

Brown Sugar

Canola and Olive Oil


Christmas presents

The congregation fulfills Christmas wishes for a set of families, most of whom have children with special needs. Clothes, winter coats, and toys have brought joy to many children.

Military goodie packages

From donations from the congregation, goodie boxes consisting of non-perishable snacks and personal items are mailed to military personnel serving overseas. Other packages are assembled for local Veterans in Niles.

New mother gifts

Personal items and small gifts are donated and given to local hospitals for new mothers who need a little extra assistance.

Blood drive

Each year, the Deacons organize and host a Red Cross Blood Drive. The blood collected serves local hospitals and clinics.

Life Lines

The Deacons provide Lifeline medical alert subscriptions to disabled people who need a way to make emergency contacts.


Congregational Service

Coffe Service and Receptions

The Deacons provide coffee, juice, and light refreshments and cookies after the Family Worship Service. The Deacons also help with many of the receptions for funerals and special events.


This ministry extends sympathy to families of church members when a death occurs, by sending sympathy cards, paying calls, visiting funeral homes and attending funeral services. Easter and Christmas flowers are delivered to families who have lost a loved one during the year.

Welcome new baby

Welcome and congratulations are extended to new born babies, their parents and their families. In addition to a card, parents are presented with a Christian parenting book upon baptism.

Communion Ministry

This ministry is responsible for the preparation for Holy Communion at the Family Worship Service, including preparing the bread, juice, cups, and preparing the communion table.

Flower Ministry

Easter lilies and Christmas Poinsettias are ordered and arranged around the sanctuary. Immediately following worship, the flowers are delivered to shut-ins, members in nursing homes, and to families who have lost a loved one during the year. In addition the flower ministry team purchase, deliver and take care of weekly flower arrangements. These are also delivered each week to shut-ins.

New member committee

This committee takes pictures of new members and posts them on the bulletin boards. The committee also keeps the register and photos of current Deacons, Elders and Staff updated. The committee also keeps supplies of coffee, cookies, and paper items stocked for receptions after worship services. 


This ministry keeps the congregation updated on Deacon activities. Publications such as The Upper Room and Care Notes are ordered, updated, and kept stocked in the Fifth Street Information Center.  This group also schedules radio operators and video camera operators.


Anyone who needs a ride to church can contact the Deacons, and transportation will be arranged.


Fund Raising

The Deacons sponsor a series of fund-raising events to support their community work. These include:

  • Chili Dinner (early Spring)
  • Pies Not Ties (Father's Day)
  • Fall Fundraiser
  • Christmas Cookie Walk (Early December)

All profits are used strictly for the Deacon's activities. Monetary donations are always welcome. 


Deacon Mission

The Deacons are gathering items for Domestic Violence Shelter and Homeless Shelter in Berrien County. Here is what they have requested:

cereals, juice boxes, granola bars, snacks for kids, canned goods (corned beef, hash, spaghetti, tuna, chicken, Vienna sausage) bleach wipes, dryer sheets, Kleenex, laundry soap, liquid dish soap, paper towels, toilet paper, bath towels, face towels and kitchen towels.

Lists are also available in the usual places around Church, so you can take one home. Please return your goodies to the appropriate big box at the church.


                          Deacons sincerely thank you for your help!!